MLAs’ Foreign Junket Plan Junked? - The New Indian Express

MLAs’ Foreign Junket Plan Junked?

Published: 01st May 2014 10:21 AM

Last Updated: 01st May 2014 10:23 AM

The foreign junket planned by members of the Assurances Committee of the State Legislature has run into rough weather after the media got wind of this.

A meeting of the committee, headed by Congress MLA Tanveer Sait, on Wednesday is said to have ended abruptly after it started attracting media attention. According to sources, the committee was preparing to place its proposal to tour Australia and New Zealand before Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa.

If the Speaker gives the clearance, the tour is likely to start after May 20. It is estimated to cost around Rs 7 lakh for each member and a team of officials is also likely to accompany the legislators.

The 15-member Assurances Committee includes Siddunyama Gowda, Eshwar Khandre, M K Somashekar, Vijayananda Kashempur, Duryodhana Aihole, U B Banakar, Aravind Chandrakanth Bellad, H C Balakrishna, Mallikarjuna Khuba, Y S V Datta and K S Puttannaiah.

When contacted, Datta expressed disapproval for the foreign trip. He said he has decided not to go on any foreign trip at the government’s cost as the State needs legislators to monitor drought relief works and address drinking water problem. Puttannaiah also made it clear that he would not be part of the proposed trip.

However, Sait denied the reports. He said there was no such proposal before the committee and the issue was not discussed at the meeting on Wednesday.

The plan of members of the Estimates Committee to tour South America had drawn wide condemnation last year. Even a public interest petition was filed against the proposal. The Speaker had then announced that he would formulate clear cut guidelines for foreign trips.

Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa told Express: “I have not received any proposal for foreign tour. I have constituted a committee to form guidelines for such trips which will be ready in the next few days. Permission will be given for such tours only if they conform to the proposed guidelines.”

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